Telecommuting is a win-win situation for employees, employers

November 20th, 2007 - 1:35 pm ICT by admin  

Washington, November 20 (ANI): A meta-analysis of 20 years of research on flexible work arrangements suggests that telecommunicating is a very effective means of boosting employees morale, fostering job satisfaction among them, and relieving them of stress.

The findings based on the analysis of 46 studies of telecommuting, involving 12,833 employees, have been reported in the current issue of the Journal of Applied Psychology, published by the American Psychological Association (APA).

Our results show that telecommuting has an overall beneficial effect because the arrangement provides employees with more control over how they do their work, said lead author Ravi S. Gajendran.

Autonomy is a major factor in worker satisfaction and this rings true in our analysis. We found that telecommuters reported more job satisfaction, less motivation to leave the company, less stress, improved work-family balance, and higher performance ratings by supervisors, he added.

Working with his fellow Dr. David A. Harrison from Pennsylvania State University, Gajendran found that telecommuting has more positive than negative effects on employees and employers.

A work-at-home option gives telecommuters more freedom in their work arrangement and removes workers from direct, face-to-face supervision, Gajendran said.

The study also found that employees considered telecommuting to be beneficial for managing the conflicting demands of work and family.

Against the popular belief that face time at the office is essential for good work relationships, the study also found that telecommuters relationship with their managers and co-workers did not suffer from telecommuting.

The managers who oversaw telecommuters also reported that the workers performance was not negatively affected by working from home.

Workers believed that their careers would not suffer due to telecommuting.

However, employees who worked away from their offices for three or more days a week reported worsening of their relationships with co-workers.

The typical telecommuter examined in the analysis was a manager or a professional from the information technology or sales and marketing department of a firm. The average age of a telecommuter was 39. Men and women were equally represented in the study.

According to the studys authors, women telecommuters may derive even greater benefits from telecommuting. They revealed that study samples with greater proportions of women found they received higher performance ratings from their supervisors and that their career prospects improved, rather than worsened.

Telecommuting has a clear upside: small but favourable effects on perceived autonomy, work-family conflict, job satisfaction, performance, turnover intent and stress. Contrary to expectations in both academic and practitioner literatures, telecommuting has no straightforward, damaging effects on the quality of workplace relationships or perceived career prospects, the authors wrote. (ANI)

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